ESPN 300 running back Jaydon Blue, one of the top-ranked running backs in the 2022 class, said he will sit out his senior season of high school football in 2021 to prepare for college.
Blue, out of Klein Cain High School in Houston, is the No. 82-ranked recruit overall in the ESPN 300. The 5-foot-10, 195-pounder has been committed to Texas since February, and he made the decision with his family to forgo his last high school season as he gets ready to join the Longhorns.
The decision, Blue said in a statement posted to Twitter on Thursday, took into consideration the wear and tear of the running back position.
"This has been a very difficult decision for my family & I," Blue said in his Twitter post. "Football is a brutal sport, and the wear and tear associated with the RB position is undeniable. I plan to take this time to focus on my academics while enhancing my off the field training/ rehab regimen.
"This is a strategic & conscious effort to ensure that I am prepared to perform at an elite level at the collegiate rankings during the 2022 season. ... This is an incremental step in hopes of one day fulfilling my NFL dreams."
Blue ran for 2,155 yards and 30 touchdowns last season at Klein Cain, averaging 9.5 yards per carry. With scholarship offers in hand and a commitment already made, Blue felt he could take this time to train and rehab his body before college.
His decision does not impact his commitment to Texas, and the Longhorns' staff was aware he was going to make the announcement.
Blue is the first big-name prospect in the 2022 class to announce he will sit out his season. Multiple prospects in the 2021 class opted not to play -- mostly because of COVID-19 restrictions pushing their seasons to the spring.
Ohio State running back signee TreVeyon Henderson was one of those prospects who decided not to transfer to another high school when his season was pushed back from the fall. Henderson chose to train and prepare for college instead of playing a spring season.
Blue's decision is more voluntary, but his choice could impact others who see that a high-profile recruit has done it.